The Making-Of "Off the Map"

The Concept

At first there was the idea to simply distribute a sound through different rooms and then mix the recorded tracks to achieve a wide and interesting stereo image. But after thinking about it, I thought it would be even better to create the whole music that way.

The Execution

I found an empty office where luckily the floor was pulled out during renovation. Because of that the rooms offered some very nice reverbs. I chose the center room as the control room and arranged my modular setup, my field recorder, a small desk and a chair in the middle of it. Then I placed a stereo-pair of cables to each of the two main rooms I chose for the reverberation recordings. In each of these rooms there was a pair of speakers and microphones. In one room the speakers pointed to a microphone in XY configuration. In the other room the speakers pointed away from the microphones in ORTF configuration. The third room consisted of one speaker and one cardioid microphone.

The Music

I created a setup where I could make a quadrophonic submix and distributed it to the two different sounding main reverberation rooms. The signal was constantly moving through all four speakers inside these rooms. The third room was used to play and record only the bassdrum. So in the end I could record three rooms, the bassdrum (dry) and the submix (dry) individually in order to mix them later in studio. As you hopefully know I love to record one-takes so I performed each track live. I wanted to create patches that are hypnotic and have periodic figures. So basically I think this is some kind of advanced three-dimensional techno music.

The Result

In the end I am very happy with the results. The futuristic athmosphere that was achieved is electrifying and relaxing at the same time. You can listen to each of the tracks over and over and I’m pretty sure you’ll find new aspects each time you haven’t heard previously.


Thomas Burkhardt